Monday, July 5, 2010

Almost Over

Wow, the last seven months sure have flown by. The world seven months ago was a strange, innocent time. Back then, the Gulf of Mexico wasn't associated with the words "ecological hellhole" and no one outside of South Africa had ever heard of a vuvuzela. When I saw New Moon, I thought, "At least we have a year until the next one." Then I found out that the third Twilight movie Eclipse was going to be released just in time for the July 4th movie crowd. "NO!" Twilight haters railed. "That's not enough time. What about the children?" That argument didn't hold much weight since it's the children that like these movies so now we have to deal with the existence of Eclipse.

Twilight lovers break down into two camps, Team Edward and Team Jacob. Twilight haters also break down into two camps, Team Boring and Team Stupid. I, personally, don't like labels and try to promote harmony by including myself in both camps.

The movie opens with something that almost started to look exciting with a man being attacked by what you assume is Bella's vampire enemy, Victoria. Don't worry, Twi-fans. The filmmakers quickly shut that down and cut to some drippy, depressing scene that will be hailed by Team Boring fans of Edward and Bella reading poetry in a cornflower filled meadow. Bella, as she does many times throughout the movie, tries to nag Edward into premarital sex but Edward knows that, as a man, it's his job to guide his woman away from sinful and libidinous impulses and tells her that they must first marry before they can do it for procreation in the missionary position through a hole in a sheet. He also knows it's his job to protect her from mean old nasty stuff so she can concentrate on girl things so he withholds the fact that Victoria is back on the hunt for her. Sadly for him, Jacob shows up to do just that. Why this comes as a huge shock to Bella is a mystery as, in the story, only a few weeks have passed since they last encountered her.

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart do their usual awesome job of making Edward and Bella look like people trying to deal with being in love while also struggling with clinical depression. The two also manage to drag just about everyone around them into their pit of despair. Smiles are rarely cracked by anyone in the movie. Everyone in Edward and Bella's lives either looks depressed or possessed of some world weary aloofness that basically got set up to ward off depression. Taylor Lautner actually stands out in this crowd not only for the evidence that he does 500 situps a day but for the fact that he actually seems to be passionate about his life and what goes on in it. Instead of being weepy and introspective about the fact that Bella has chosen Edward over him, he seems genuinely angry about it. When he and Bella are alone, he actually grins at the idea that they get to spend time together. Taylor Lautner should be very happy that he's surrounded in these movies by people who went to Zombie Acting School because they make him look like Robert Deniro.

We're also treated to some depressing backstories. We get the heartwarming story of how Edward's foster father, Carlisle, made foster sister Rosalee a vampire after she was raped nearly to death, for example. We also see that Jasper, known to me as, "that guy who always looks like he has a huge stick shoved as far up his ass as it will go," was made a vampire by an opportunistic woman who would keep lots of newborn vampires around her then get Jasper to kill them for good after about a year. This sets up the final confrontation with Victoria as she is making an army of newborn vamps to battle the Cullens and Jasper gets to teach everyone how to fight them. It turns out that newborns are stronger than older vampires and would have an excellent chance of taking out the whole Cullen clan but don't worry, Jasper "Sun Tzu" Cullen is on the case with elite training tips like, "Do something unexpected," and, "Don't let them crush you." Seriously. Team Stupid loved those scenes.

The good news is that we're nearing the end of the Twilight saga. The producers have cruelly chosen to split the final novel Breaking Dawn into two films but that still means the end is in sight. In just two more films, the romance between a sparkling emo vampire and his mumbling girlfriend will be finished. After that, all movies will be good so that's a relief.

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